Hurricane Preparedness Update
Living in a coastal state, we are faced with certain risks for natural disasters and other emergencies for which we must always be prepared. While we hope for the best at all times, it would be irresponsible not to have an emergency plan for when those emergencies do occur. Many different types of disasters can force people to evacuate their homes, and proper and timely evacuation can be the difference between life and death. While it may be difficult to leave your home, your support net- work, and your friends, it could be even worse to ignore the warnings of emergency officials and stay behind.
According to Florida law, individuals with special needs are eligible for evacuation assistance should they need it. If you have special needs, and family or friends are not available to help you, you may qualify for assistance services. Register with your local emergency management agency before disaster strikes. Whatever your circumstances, each family or household needs to have a plan to protect itself during a disaster. This plan should include what you will do and where you will go in case of evacuation. As part of your plan, organize a disaster preparedness kit to sustain you and your family for seven days. Most importantly, discuss your plan with your family, friends, and neighbors. Keeping your loved ones informed allows for consistency and prevents confusion should an emergency arise. Should a disaster occur, the plan you have in place will help protect you from further distress.
Many seniors have specific medical needs that must be considered. Make sure to have a list of all of your medications, a generous supply to hold you over, and a plan for refilling prescriptions as needed. Safeguarding important documents such as your identification, Social Security card, insurance documents and policies, and emergency contact information is also critical during an emergency. And don’t forget to have a plan for your pets. Including your pets in your emergency plan will allow you to avoid the dangers associated with staying behind during an evacuation. Florida is home to more than 4.45 million seniors age 60 and older, and approximately one in four of them suffers some physical impairment. It is critical that as good neighbors, we assist those who might not be able to prepare for a disaster. In an emergency, we must come together as Floridians to ensure that no person is left without help. Florida’s elders have always been resilient. The information within this Disaster Preparedness Guide for Elders will help all seniors and their families prepare and take steps to be safe and secure during and after an emergency event. We must all be ready to help our neighbors and ourselves, if and when that time comes.
Secretary Chuck Corley
Department of Elder Affairs
Click Here for a digital copy of the newsletter sent out by the Department of Elder Affairs to help educate on senior preparedness for hurricanes/disasters.
We will also have hard copies available at our Cocoa office, as well as the Sunflower House and all 12 of our Seniors At Lunch sites listed.
Connect with Aging Matters in Brevard at (321) 639-8770 or via email at info@AgingMattersBrevard.org.